The writings of Czech author Franz Kafka for many years have tantalized me, and in college I did an independent study of his perplexing short-stories and novels ~ which is why I and much of the literary world watches with interest the fact that 10 safety-deposit boxes of his never-published writings now have surfaced.
According to the Associated Press:
In the past week, the pages have been pulled from safety deposit boxes in Tel Aviv and Zurich, Switzerland, on the order of an Israeli court over the objections of two elderly women who claim to have inherited them from their mother.
The case boils down to the interpretation of the will of Max Brod, Kafka’s friend and publisher. Kafka bequeathed his writings to Brod shortly before his own death from tuberculosis in 1924, instructing his friend to burn everything unread. Brod ignored Kafka's wishes and published most of what was in his possession, including the novels "The Trial," "The Castle" and "Amerika."
But Brod, who smuggled some of the manuscripts to pre-state Israel when he fled the Nazis in 1938, didn't publish everything. Upon his death in 1968, Brod left his personal secretary, Esther Hoffe, in charge of his literary estate and instructed her to transfer the Kafka papers to an academic institution.
Instead, for the next four decades, Hoffe kept the papers in her Tel Aviv apartment and in safety deposit boxes in Tel Aviv and Zurich banks.
"Kafka could easily have written a story like this, where you try to do something and it all goes wrong and everything remains unresolved," said Sara Loeb, a Tel Aviv-based author of two books about the writer. "It's really a case of life imitating art."
Click here for the AP article.